Project O2 Concludes Successful First Year of Operation
 November 29, 2017| 
  • Team News
Project O2 2017 Recap

VACAVILLE, Calif. – In the fall of 2016, asthmatic racecar driver TJ Fischer founded the Project O2 Corporation to inspire, inform and innovate a new path to asthma awareness. Wanting to break down barriers and stigmas around what people can or cannot do while living with asthma, the 23-year-old chose to fully expose his story with asthma and how it almost kept him from racing cars after an attack during a race in 2015.

“The asthma attack I experienced in 2015 was a reminder of how vicious and random an attack can be,” noted the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires racer. “I felt I needed to share my experiences, knowing the struggles I went through trying to manage my asthma whilst hiding it in front of other people. Creating Project O2 was simply about telling my story, inspiring those to pursue their dreams even with the disease, and share the best tactics, education and methods to control their asthma properly. Going forward, I’m committed to growing Project O2 through my racing to reach a vast number of people affected by asthma.”

A year on, Project O2 has developed into a nationwide campaign reaching over 5,000 individuals affected by asthma and working with over a dozen corporations and foundations to revolutionize the asthma conversation and education.

The 2017 season kicked off with Fischer as the Grand Marshal for The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology’s (AAAAI) 5k Run/Walk race at their annual conference in Atlanta, GA on March 4 - 5. AAAAI and its partners quickly got behind the Project O2 cause and was represented on Fischer’s racecar for the entire 2017 Pro Mazda season, as well as in the Project O2 booth which was located on site at the event.

In April, Project O2 partnered with the American Lung Association and fielded a team for the Fight for Air Climb Los Angeles at the Aon Center. Along with a team of five friends and family, TJ Fischer climbed the 1,393 steps up to the top of the and raised over $2,000 for the American Lung Association.

This past May, Project O2 and Fischer partnered with the Indiana State Department of Health to create an asthma PSA with state commissioner Dr. Jerome Adams. Fischer then went on to work with the Indiana Joint Asthma Coalition in a joint effort for World Asthma Day on May 2where they had a presence at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. They also visited local schools to share the Project O2 message and inform kids of the possibilities and challenges with asthma.

On May 12-13, Project O2 launched its #Race2TheRescue initiative at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the INDYCAR Grand Prix. Aiming to delineate between rescue and maintenance inhalers, #Race2TheRescue provided neon red stickers for rescue and neon green stickers for maintenance inhalers. 

The Project O2 #Race2TheRescue booth took to three more INDYCAR races on the 2017 calendar with Elkhart Lake, WI, Lexington, OH and Watkins Glen, NY proving a great opportunity to meet with the local asthma communities. Over five thousand #Race2TheRescue stickers and informational fliers were handed out during the four events.

In Elkhart Lake, Project O2 partnered with Propeller Health, an up-and-coming, state of the art company out of Wisconsin. Their groundbreaking technology monitors asthma symptoms, medication dosage, triggers and asthma forecast via a phone application and a clip-on device that attaches to inhalers. Propeller Health would expand its involvement with Project O2 and were present at the remaining races on Fischer’s 2017 schedule, which included being the title partner on his racecar for the final event at Watkins Glen.

The California native also attended Camp Asthmania in South Carolina where he met with over 50 children affected by asthma. The initiative, put on by AnMed Health, has a refreshing and engaging take to the asthma conversation, something that normal teacher-student relationships simply cannot replicate.

“It was exciting to see how many people embraced the ideas we had for Project O2,” Fischer said. “We collaborated with so many great organizations to share the message; it was a very humbling experience. We were surprised how quickly Project O2 gained traction in its first full year and we’re excited to expand for 2018. Racing wise, the goal is still to move up to Indy Lights for 2018 which will give an even broader platform for Project O2 to grow from.”

Fischer and Project O2 are currently in the final stages of putting 2018 plans together. The racer has his goal firmly set on moving another step up the racing ladder and also aims to take Project O2 and #Race2TheRescue to at least 20 new demographics including race tracks, hospitals, schools and conferences.

For more information on Project O2, go to ProjectO2.org and follow the hashtag #Race2TheRescue on social media.

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